Home > My Favorites > Day Fifty-three: Sun Worshiper

Day Fifty-three: Sun Worshiper

A green field.

A green field and a blue sky.

A green field, with long grass as far as the eye can see, waving in the gentle breeze and whispering its secrets to anyone who can hear them. A blue sky the color of eternity itself, broken only by the bright white clouds, stately and grand, that sail from horizon to horizon.

A warm and bright sun, hanging high in the sky. It keeps all of this running, The grass, the wind, the clouds, the sky.

I lay back in the grass and ponder it all. The light from the sun hitting my face left eight minutes ago. It flew through the emptiness of space, the fastest thing there is, and it still took eight minutes to get to me. And each photon, each tiny, indivisible bit of light, had spent hundreds of thousands of years – maybe millions – getting out of the unimaginably hot and dense center of the sun in the first place.

The light hitting my eyes is older than human civilization. It has struggled greatly to reach me.

I pluck a long stem of grass from the earth and put one end in my mouth, chewing on it as I lie back. I taste… something. That indefinable grassy earthy taste, and it tastes good. The sunlight that fell here yesterday is the green of today, sharp and bitter on my tongue. The other grasses whisper in the breeze, not mourning their lost cousin, not resenting my destruction of their kind. They simply exist, drinking in the sunlight as they have always done and will always do.

The breeze brushes past me, generating another burst of whispers from the grass. That, too, owes its life to the sun. The intricate interplay of heating and cooling, convection and rotation, it all keeps the air from ever being too still, too dull. Energy from a vast nuclear furnace millions of miles away, a body that would vaporize the world if it could, delicately ruffles my hair.

So too with the clouds, and the trees on the edge of the field, and the insects that fly around through the grass. And me. Without the sun, we are as naught.

I stand up and look up towards the sun, lower in the sky now than it was when I came here. I close my eyes and feel the warmth and try to imagine the impossible journey that sunlight has made. I can’t. My solid-state human mind cannot begin to empathize with an indefinable photon. But I can appreciate.

Carefully, I disrobe, removing my clothes slowly and carefully and folding them on the grass. I turn in the sunlight and try to feel how the heat warms my skin, how my very body reacts to the light, generating vitamins, slowly burning and marshaling its defenses, releasing the chemicals that control my health and my mood and which make me who I am. It feels like a shower, like a flood, a flood of warmth and life and love.

The sun is not the sun anymore. It is the creator of all things. It is the generator of all life, that to which we owe our existence. Though I know it cannot love us, I feel the heat as its love. Though I know it cannot see us, I know its light sees us all. And though I know it cannot judge us or damn us or redeem us, I know that it was once part of us, and we of it, and that one day we will be again. The sun gave us birth and it will accept us in our death many, many years from now, and once again all that ever was will be one again.

I turn to the sun and I bow, hands together.

And though I know it cannot hear me, and would not care even if it could, I say:

“Thank you.”

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